Sunday, January 04, 2009

Bugged about Big Finish

I did a review a little while ago of one of the Big Finish Doctor Who audio productions. I've listened to a few of these, and even a couple more since the one I reviewed.

The trick is to avoid listening to the extras they put on at the end after the drama, in which various people involved with the production congratulate each other about how brilliant it was. I'm sure they've worked hard on it, and they are on a bit of a buzz after working through some fairly intensive recording sessions, but telling me it's fantastic when I've just listened to it and I know it is not fantastic just makes me more aware of its shortcomings.

So two pieces of advice to Big Finish productions:

1) Cut out all the extra bits that are just self-congratulatory lovey-stuff. Either give us something that is going to enhance our appreciation of the production or don't bother.

2) Get a script editor who understands that highly convoluted plotting does not equal clever storytelling.

So is Final Crisis over yet or what?

Event overkill in the DC universe

Now I don't for one second think there's some big conspiracy at DC to undermine Final Crisis and make a fool of Grant Morrison; it's just a side effect of company greed out of control.

Final Crisis was presented to us as the big climax to the trilogy, following the awesome Crisis on Infinite Earths and the disposable Ultimate Crisis. The rot set in a year before it even started. Morrison had requested that the New Gods not be used in other comics in the lead up to FC, so that he could build up his reinterpretation of them. So Dan Didio rushed out and commissioned the dreadful Death of the New Gods mini-series, which was not only a bad, bad comic, but directly contravened events in Final Crisis, and gave Morrison a handicap before he'd even started.

So Final Crisis rolls around, and just as what's supposed to be the big event kicks off, DC elects to run several other big stories, each with their own spin-offs. There's Maelstrom, which ties into a bunch of Superman-related titles, there's Kingdom's Come A Bit Early in JSA and friends, there's the build up to next year's big event in all the Green Lantern books, and there's even Morrison's own Batman's dead no he isn't over in the Bat-family.

At first I assumed that at least some of these fitted together in some convoluted way with Final Crisis, but that doesn't seem to be the case, and consequently I can't keep track of what is a spin-off from which event. Especially the ones that are convoluted side-stories to Final Crisis.

The result is that I end up reading less comics, rather than more. And I have no idea whether Final Crisis is even finished yet.